Carjacked! - Mom, baby suffer frightening ordeal

Mother fights carjacker in heavy afternoon traffic

BY KIMMO MATTHEWS Observer staff reporter matthewsk@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

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A Kingston mother was subjected to one of the most frightening ordeals of her life yesterday when an armed man forced himself into her car in heavy drive-time traffic, fought with her, and eventually drove away with her baby who was strapped into a car seat in the back.


"I am still in shock," Judy-Ann Hinds told the Observer about an hour after the ordeal ended when the thief crashed her car on Oxford Road and bolted up Belmont Road, leaving the baby unharmed.


Hinds said that at approximately 4:00 pm she was on Lady Musgrave Road heading to Cross Roads when the traffic lights at the intersection of Old Hope Road changed to red.


"It's like the man came from out of nowhere," she said, explaining that he came into the passenger seat at the front and told her: "Hey woman, drive; me have me gun pon me yu nuh."


Gripped by fear, Hinds said she obeyed his command. He then told her that when she reached further down Old Hope Road she should pull over to the side of the street and go to the back seat.


"I figured that he would have used the opportunity to steal the car. So I hesitated, but out of fear I started to drive slower," Hinds said, adding that it was at this point that the thief pulled a knife and held it to her throat.


The frightened mother said that after driving for a few metres, she pulled over at a spot where a lot of pedestrians were standing. She said that she got out of the Nissan Sunny, but turned on the thief, punching him as he was moving over into the driver's seat.


"I was hoping to catch the attention of a passer-by," said Hinds, who by now was motivated by her instinct to protect her daughter.


"I fought and fought and called out for help, trying to draw the attention of members of the public who were in the area," she told the Observer.


However, despite her appeals for assistance, people just stood and watched, she said.


The thief fought back, eventually gained control of the steering wheel and started driving. But Hinds continued fighting and shouting for help while running alongside the slow-moving car.


Her resistance resulted in him losing control of the vehicle and running into the back of a car. However, the reaction of the driver whose car was hit shocked her. "Instead of coming out to help me, he came out to inspect the damage to his vehicle," Hinds related. "This gave the thief time to reverse and then drive off with my car."


Unknown to Hinds, two motorcyclists had seen what had happened and started to chase the thief, who by then was on Oxford Road heading towards New Kingston.


The carjacker, however, did not get far, as he crashed into another car being driven by a lady at the intersection of Belmont Road.


"After he hit the lady's car, a bike rider shouted to the lady to block him because had stolen the car and that there was a baby in the back. He then swerved out into oncoming traffic and ran into a white Range Rover," Nanisha Brooks-Lee, a motorist who witnessed the event, told the Observer.


Brooks-Lee said that the thief "climbed out of the driver's window and ran up Belmont Road" with a knife in his hand.


Brooks-Lee said she helped a policewoman, who was quick on the scene, to take the baby out of the car.


By this time, Hinds was at the Cross Roads Police Station filing a report after being picked up on Old Hope Road by a female motorists who saw her chasing the car.


While at the station, the frightened mother received the good news that the vehicle was recovered and that her baby was fine.


Police, who were on the scene after the ordeal ended, said that they got a call about the attempted carjacking. They tried to find the carjacker, but were not successful, they said.


Police said they would be offering counselling to the mother.



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